Facing a tough Fossil Ridge defense, Southlake Carroll had to execute well on offense.
And they did.
The Panthers kept it close for almost three quarters, but Carroll exploded for 21 unanswered points late to coast to a 47-26 win Friday in a District 5-6A game at Dragon Stadium.
Brandon Lewis’ 75-yard touchdown reception from Scottie Colis for Fossil Ridge (4-3 overall, 2-2 District 5-6A) cut the Dragons lead to 26-19 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
But Carroll (7-0, 4-0), ranked No. 6 in the state in Class 6A by the Associated Press and No. 3 in the Star-Telegram 6A Power Rankings, used short TD runs by T.J. McDaniel (four yards) and Eli Furgal (three yards) and a 15-yard Will Bowers to R.J. Mickens scoring pass to open a 47-19 lead with 7:56 left in the game.
McDaniel, as usual, was the work horse for Carroll. The senior carried 23 times for 208 yards and scored on runs of 39, 75, and 4 yards.
McDaniel’s 75 yarder came only 11 seconds after Lewis had scored on a 33-yard run for the Panthers that had cut Carroll’s lead to 16-13 with 9:49 left in the third quarter.
Carroll had only five penalties and no turnovers.
Game was over when: Following McDaniel’s four-yard scoring run that made the score 33-19, Fossil Ridge was forced to punt on its next series. Five plays later the game was put out of reach by Eli Furgal’s three-yard TD run with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Play of the game: Fossil Ridge wide receiver Aharanne Pacheco scored on a 27-yard pass play from Scottie Colis for the Panthers first points. Pacheco looked to be covered well, with a Carroll defender poised for an interception, but he grabbed the ball from over the top of the defender at the 10 and kept his balance to carry it in. Pacheco had nine catches for 165 yards.
Offensive player of the game: McDaniel stole the show with his yardage and three scores, but both quarterbacks had good games. Scottie Colis of Fossil Ridge was 14-for-25 passing for 243 yards and two scores. Will Bowers of Carroll was an efficient 18-of-23 for 208 yards and two TDs. R.J. Mickens had nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Dragons.
Defensive player of the game: Carroll linebacker Michael Parrish seemed to be everywhere. The senior was in on several tackles to lead a defense that allowed only 111 rushing yards on 30 carries. Carroll defensive back Griffin Gumm came up with the only turnover of the game, recovering a Fossil Ridge fumble early in the fourth quarter.
Unsung hero of the game: Brandon Lewis of Fossil Ridge had a nice night keeping the Panthers in the game until late. Lewis rushed for 78 yards on 11 carries and one TD and had one catch for a 75-yard score.
What’s next? Carroll will travel to the Keller ISD Athletic Complex to face Keller Central on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. to continue District 5-6A play. Fossil Ridge will host Timber Creek, also at the Keller ISD Athletic Complex, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.